Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf

On Thursday, August 18, 2005, we awoke to a beautiful day of sunshine and called AJ to let him know we wanted to do something outside. We were beginning our second week of a three week stay in the San Francisco area and feeling very much like tourists. We picked AJ up at his apartment in San Francisco for a fun day viewing some tourist attractions. We started off at Fisherman’s Wharf to catch a ferry ride to Alcatraz. The prison has been closed for many years, mostly because it was too expensive to operate. Now, they make a lot of tourist money for their tours of the island.

Fisherman’s Wharf begins at pier 27 in the Embarcadero Financial District on one end and pier 39 at the other end. Fisherman’s Wharf is a combination of warehouses, restaurants and tourist attractions, including street mimes, myriads of tourists and other facilities designed to entertain tourists.

We got to see and smell the sea lions. I enjoyed watching them, but they really stunk. The city has placed platforms off the wharf for the sea lions to stay. I think the odor was repulsive, so we did not stay in the area for very long. The ticket booth for the boat ride to Alcatraz was adjacent to the seal area. We bought our tickets to Alcatraz and wandered around on the wharf for a couple of hours while we waited for our turn on the boat.

The boat ride across the bay to and from Alcatraz was the best part of the trip for us. We got a different view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city itself. The boats are well used and made dozens of trips per day. Alcatraz Island was relatively small and the prison covered most of the island. The prison was much in disrepair, dirty and unkempt. We saw no effort to improve conditions for tourists.

We ate lunch at Chic’s restaurant on pier 39. Chic’s was a seafood restaurant that served nice looking plates of seafood to tourists. I grew up near the Gulf Coast of Texas and ate a lot of seafood during my life. I much preferred the Texas Gulf seafood to what was offered in San Francisco. Kathi enjoyed her lunch of baked salmon and AJ and I ordered fried shrimp. It was an enjoyable lunch, but for me it was mostly because of the atmosphere and company.


Next post: More San Francisco Attractions

Alcatraz Island and Prison

Bubba Gump Restaurant sign

Carousel on Fisherman's Wharf

People waiting in line for their boat ride to Alcatraz

Golden Bear is one of the shuttle boats to Alcatraz

Seal pier on wharf

Tin Man -- He moves and allows pictures for money -- a regular on the pier.

Closer view of Tin Man

2 comments:

  1. Great day. They do not tell you before the tour of Alcatraz that the tour is really an uphill walk in a circle around the prison. Good exercise.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great day. They do not tell you before the tour of Alcatraz that the tour is really an uphill walk in a circle around the prison. Good exercise.

    ReplyDelete